bride in the Desert - Dubai destination wedding

Plan the Perfect Destination Wedding in Dubai

by Dubai Travel Planner

Destination weddings are becoming all the more popular, and one to Dubai ticks all the boxes when it comes to the perfect weather, stunning backdrops, and majestic venues to let you and your guests celebrate the night away.

Why choose Dubai for your destination wedding?

With all-year-round sunshine, jaw-dropping city backdrops, and venues that know how to turn your fairytale dream wedding into a reality, it is no wonder that Dubai is one of the top destinations for weddings.

The city boasts hundreds of luxury and beach-front hotel venues that certainly know how to make your wedding a memorable one for you and your guests.

The wedding packages at the venue with details taken care of such as wedding cake, entertainment, and more, will mean the most stress-free beginning for the bride and groom. As for the guests, attending the wedding will feel like a holiday somewhere exotic.

As if the hospitality at the wedding venue will not be enough, the city offers so many activities and experiences for the guests to partake, that they will surely be kept entertained.

Luckily, Dubai is easily accessible from various countries, with citizens from the UK, USA, Canada, and some European countries not requiring a UAE entry visa in advance. For other nationalities, visa applications are straightforward with visas obtained in a matter of days.

There are a set of legal pre-marital requirements and procurers that need to be completed for a marriage to be recognised in Dubai.

Although some rules differ depending on the couple’s nationalities and religion, every couple needs to provide the following:

  1. The bride’s approval
  2. Couple’s valid passports
  3. Couple’s visa status
  4. Atleast one person in the marriage contract must have a valid UAE residence visa. This can be either the groom, the bride of the bride’s guardian.
  5. The bride and groom both must provide positive pre-marital health screening certificates, issued by DHA primary healthcare centres. The screening is a mandatory requirement and done to limit the risk of spreading communicable and inherited diseases. Obtaining the certificate costs AED 260.
married couple standing in front of the highrises of JBR, Dubai

The rules for a Muslim marriage are different from those of non-Muslims.

Muslim marriages must be conducted at a UAE Sharia Court or via authorised marriage officers (Mazoons) appointed by the Ministry of Justice, where the marriage takes place in accordance with the Sharia law. An application for a marriage contract and its payment, of AED 200 must be done beforehand. 

Regardless of the couple’s nationalities, at the Islamic marriages, both the bride and groom must be present, along with the bride’s father and at least two Muslim witnesses.

There are specific rules in place if one of the partners practices a religion other than Islam, and best to check it with the UAE Sharia Court.

Non-muslim couples getting married in Dubai need to have their nuptials registered at their respective embassies or consultants of their home countries. Depending on the couple’s nationality, the embassy or consulate may have other specific requirements and documents to submit, in order for getting married in Dubai, so it is advisable to check these beforehand.

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Documentation from the home country needs to be approved by the UAE Foreign Ministry. The religious nuptials can take place in the place of worship as per the couple’s religion.

For more up-to-date details please check the Marriage Section under The Dubai Court.

Top Dubai wedding venues

We all know Dubai oozes with luxury and the same can be said for wedding venues in Dubai. Here are some well-known wedding venues that certainly know how to keep your special day grand yet intimate as you celebrate the joy of togetherness and love:

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

Just like the hotel, your wedding here will truly be iconic and nothing less than extraordinary. Choose to walk down the aisle and say your vows against breathtaking views, have a specially curated menu for their guests, and celebrate at the grand ballroom decorated with customised flowers. The wedding couple can arrive in a chauffer-driven Rolls Royce specially custom made for Burj Al Arab for their special day, and end their unforgettable experience with a moonlight swim or dinner under the stars.

Burj Al Arab aerial view

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa

If exchanging your ‘I Dos’ against the backdrop of the sun setting into the Arabian Gulf sounds like your dream wedding, this boutique hotel promises to be the idyllic beachfront wedding venue. Create a bespoke personalised wedding with Bohemian- chic at your own private sandy beach complete with sun, sea, and sand, and celebrate the night away in the open-air beach club.

One for the cool-kids, guests here will be spoilt for various Insta-worthy shots, lounging on private patios, and the legendary Nikki Beach entertainment.

Bab Al Shams

A wedding venue that will bring to life stories from ‘Arabian Nights’ and create a traditional Arabic experience for the big day. This oasis nestled in the dunes of Dubai has beautifully styled terracotta walled interiors, secluded courtyards, and tranquil pools, giving it a unique charm.

Guests can experience Arabian hospitality with 5-star luxury, open-air dining venues underneath the stars, panoramic views of the desert and partake in local thrills, such as falconry and camel riding.

Other popular wedding venues in Dubai worth checking include:

  • One&Only Royal Mirage
  • Palazzo Versace Dubai
  • Anantara The Palm Dubai
  • The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

Wedding planners

The wedding day is the most important day couples look forward to together, however, the task of planning and organising one is no less than a mammoth one. Luckily, there are wedding planners in Dubai that know how to execute the wedding of your dreams, give attention to even the tiniest details for the special day, and ensure the guests are having a memorable time.

There are various wedding planners in Dubai responsible for some of the most stunning weddings across Dubai’s luxurious resorts. Depending on the couple’s requirements and how hands-on they wish to be, there are different packages available. You can easily research wedding planners in Dubai by looking them up online and going on to set up the initial meetings.

Some of the well-known wedding planners in Dubai include:

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Wedding Dresses in Dubai

For many brides, finding that perfect bridal dress is the most exciting part of the wedding. Most have been dreaming of that perfect wedding dress for years, maybe even before they’ve found their ‘one’.

No matter the style you are after, and the price point for the dress of your dreams, Dubai has many top bridal boutique stores that will make your dress-finding journey an absolute breeze. Here are a few:

  1. The Bridal Showroom: One of the most popular bridal stores with a collection of wedding dresses and accessories from world-class designers such as Hayley Paige, Tara Lauren, Eve of Milady, Justin Alexander and Justin M Couture. You will find white wedding dresses here that are timeless classics as well as modern statement pieces.
  2. The Wedding Shop: This is the region’s leading bridal boutique with a range of ready-to-wear bridal gowns and accessories from the world’s leading fashion houses. A collection of over 200 white dresses from designer brands which include San Patrick, White Swan, Mikealla and Ella Rose by Kenneth Winston, is a one stop shop for all things bridal related.
  3. The Rack by Kachins: A multi-designer store with the latest haute couture and fusion apparel for Indian weddings, designed by leading names in Indian fashion. Hand embroidered Lehengas, Designer Saris, Fusion Saris and more in the Bridal Collection will leave you spoilt for choice.

There are a few boutique stores that also allow you the option to rent out the wedding dress of your dreams, such as Hazar Fashion, Designer-24, Esposa, and many others.

Wedding Rings in Dubai

They say a diamond is a girl’s best friend, but regardless of whether you are looking for a wedding ring with some bling or a traditional band, Dubai has many stores with a variety of designs for you to choose from. Just a quick stop at The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall, which has many internationally known jewellery stores, such as Tiffany & Co., Bvlgari, Piaget, Cartier, and more. Their luxury collection lines will leave you captivated.

If a traditional gold wedding band is something that you are after, and you are not too big on luxury brands, you may be able to shop at one of the gold jewellery stores in Dubai.

There are a few located in the Gold Souk at The Dubai Mall, and other well-known malls, as well as the Gold Souk of Dubai and The Gold and Diamond Park. Depending on the gold price for the day, it is even possible to bargain a little and get rings customised to your design.

Wedding photographer in Dubai

Choosing a professional photographer to capture the beautiful moments at the wedding is key, and Dubai will not fail you when it comes to hiring the best wedding photographers. In fact, in Dubai, you can also choose to have female photographers for any ladies-only wedding celebrations, typically seen in Arab weddings.

You can find many photographers in Dubai that come highly recommended by talking to your friends, and doing a quick research online, however, here’s a list of the most sought after photographers:

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How much does it cost to get married in Dubai?

The legal cost of getting married in Dubai is under AED 1000, which includes obtaining the pre-marital health screening certificates for the couple and the marriage certificate for Muslim marriages in the Shariah court. The cost for attestation of documents from other embassies or consulates can vary.

As for the rest of the wedding celebration, right from photography to the venue and bridal makeup it can cost anything from AED 200,000 to AED 500,000. Depending on the time of the wedding, your budget, and what you’ve envisioned for your special day, wedding prices can vary greatly.

Frequently Asked Questions about getting married in Dubai

Can you get married in Dubai on a visit visa?

Yes, as long as one partner has a valid UAE residency visa.

Can you get married in Dubai if you are not a Muslim?

Yes, as long as the couple registers their marriage at their respective embassy or consulate, and completes all the pre-marital requirements.

Can foreigners get married in Dubai?

Yes, Dubai allows marriages across all nationalities to take place, as long as all the pre-marital requirements are met.

How much does it cost to get married in Dubai?

The pre-marital health screening certificate costs AED 260. The cost for the marriage certificate from Dubai’s Shariah court for Muslims is AED 200. Other documentation costs for non-Muslims may vary from one embassy or consulate to another.

Are same-sex marriages allowed in Dubai?

No, in line with local laws this would be strictly prohibited.

Not sure about getting married in Dubai?

If you’re still not sold on the idea of a destination wedding, how about a small service at home with your nearest and dearest then come to Dubai to celebrate and honeymoon afterward?

We have a great guide here on how to celebrate your honeymoon in Dubai.

Dubai is simply bursting with romantic places to visit, luxurious hotels, and incredible romantic dining spots, so whether it’s to spoil your loved one, surprise them with a proposal or actually tie the know, you’ll be sure to find the perfect place in Dubai.

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Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

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